Precision Products sees its apprenticeship programme as central to the company’s future, and managing director Scott Rhodes is determined that the unrivalled expertise of its senior engineers is passed on to its next generation of industry specialists.
Chris Medlam and Jake Eyre are both on the apprenticeship programme and have been combining work at the Chesterfield plant with studies at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing and Research Centre (AMRC) in Rotherham.
Chris, 23, started at Precision Products as a bench-worker in 2013. Three months later, he was offered an apprenticeship and, having successfully completed various levels of Performance Engineering Operations, he finished his course this summer and is now hoping to study for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Colleague Jake, meanwhile, has just finished his second year at Rotherham’s AMRC and would like to move into sales and management when an opportunity comes up.
"Working here is a great opportunity for me," says Chris. "Practical experience at work fits so well with the more theoretical side of engineering studies. We can see many opportunities to expand in new markets with different coatings and different products."
"We’re well-known for our quality," says Jake, "and we can make the biggest rings that anyone wants – up to 2m. The Chinese make smaller ones but their quality doesn’t compare with ours. I think we’ll have lots of opportunities in the offshore wind market. "We’re just about to buy a new computer-aided design system," he adds. "This is great for me – I’ve just studied CAD on my course."
While Chris and Jake look forward to the opportunities ahead, the investment by Precision Products in new talent is continuous. This year, a number of new apprentices are joining the apprenticeship scheme; the piston ring and metallic seals specialists of tomorrow will be in good hands.